Attracting and Retaining Key Employees
By Robert O'Halloran Professor & Director, Hospitality Management, East Carolina University | June 19, 2011
The classical time-tested method for maintaining a cadre of key employees calls for the recruitment of men and women who not only have the technical experience and background which the job requires, but also the personality attributes and abilities which make them effective leaders (Fiedler, 1967). This dated but topical observation illustrates that recruitment and selection are critical to the retention of employees in a high quality work force. It is as important today as it has been over the years.
Each position will have its own criteria and requirements for knowledge, skill sand and attitudes/ behaviors (KSA) that are necessary for an individual to be successful in that job. Some skills and attributes that are often noted are communication, management ability, work experience, human and/or interaction skills plus the technical lodging and/or food service skills needed for a particular job. The key question is: how can organizations; hotels, resorts, restaurants or any business attract the key employees they need and then keep them.
As potential employees consider careers, companies are developing selection criteria to match their needs but hopefully the needs of those sought after employees. Company incentives that are typically valued by employees include salary, position image, geographic location, company size, promotability, training programs and of course in these economic times, benefits.
Additionally, company criteria will match the candidates with skills needed for specific positions that could focus on human resources, management skills, accounting, finance, marketing and/or other criteria as described as KSA above. Additionally, it can be argued that practically recruiters often make their decisions to hire or not only based on set criteria and prior experience but use criteria such as physical appearance, references, grades in school (when appropriate) and ultimately the interview.
Hospitality companies must decide as Mintzberg (1975) states "the basic question", "What do managers do?" This is in part answered by the three basic management roles as described by Mintzberg; interpersonal, informational, and decision-making.
In today's marketplace candidates are looking to match themselves with the right company and often are concerned about geographic location and personal fit as an employee.